Think about what you did today, how much of your day was spent sitting? Chances are, if you are a student or work an office job then you spend pretty much your whole day sitting on your butt. But regardless of whether or not you have a sitting job or are currently a student we've become more sedentary than ever which causes tons of problems on our bodies.
How does all this sitting become a problem? According to several studies, sitting actually slows down your metabolism and makes it easier for a person to gain weight. Simply put, you need to get your body moving more throughout the day and in order to boost your metabolism and burn more calories. Fortunately, it doesnt take much extra movement to boost a sluggish metabolism. In this article Ill show you 5 ways that you can boost your metabolism and burn more calories all while sitting.
- Fidget More While Sitting
Extra calories burned: 300-350 Calories
Hard to believe, but fidgeting burns a great deal of calories! Several studies have shown that the habit of extra little movements is actually a common characteristic of lean people. People who are obese not only lack regular exercise but also do significantly less moving as a whole compared to leaner individuals.
On average, fidgeting can burn between 300-350 extra calories per day! Although this number varies widely depending how often and how intensely one does it, this is a significant amount of calories burned. To put it in perspective, if someone had 300 extra calories burned fidgeting per day then that would amount to a total of 109,500 extra calories burned in one year. Provided that the person didn't consume extra calories to even out the deficit, that would lead to a whole 31.2 pounds lost just from fidgeting!
Here are some examples of ways you can burn more calories through fidgeting:
- Wiggle your leg, or tap a foot
- While sitting, keep at least one limb moving as often as possible
- Drum your fingers, shrug your shoulders, clinch your butt or even roll your eyes!
- Drink Caffeinated Green Tea
Extra calories burned: 60-100
You may have already known this, but many studies have shown that green tea can increase fat burning and help you lose weight. The secret behind this lies not just in the caffeine but also within the massive range of antioxidants found in green tea. Some studies have concluded that green tea had heat-producing and calorie-burning properties beyond what can be explained by caffeine.
Simply put, green tea boosts your metabolism, encourages fat mobilization (more fat loss during exercise), and also suppresses your appetite to stop your from eating too many calories! In most studies, the metabolic boost provided by green tea is about a 3-4% increase with some studies showing an increase as high as 8%. This means for an average person who burns 2000 calories per day, 3-4% means they are burning an additional 60-80 calories a day simply from drinking green tea!
The University of Maryland Medical Centre recommends drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily to get a sufficient dose of its active ingredients. Have one cup in the morning, have another at lunch and another one at the end of your day and youve already burned 60-100 calories more!
- Perform HIIT In The Morning
Extra calories burned: 300-400
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best, if not the best, types of training for stubborn fat loss. If you dont know what HIIT is, it basically involves you performing an exercise at maximum intensity for a short period of time, resting (active rest) and then repeating this work/rest cycle for a certain amount of time. For example, you could do sprints for 20 seconds with a 40 second walk in between and repeat this for a total time of 10 minutes. Here's an article you can use for some sample HIIT circuits.
Now one the great benefits of HIIT is called the afterburn effect or EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption). What this basically means is that after your morning HIIT workout before school, you will still be burning calories all throughout your day sitting from this workout! So you not only burn heaps of calories during the workout, but you burn even more up to 48 hours after your workout as your body recovers.
For example, a study of ten men who performed a vigorous HIIT workout on a stationary bike showed that the participants managed to burn 420 calories during their workout but also burned an additional 190 calories in the 14 hours after their workout! Provided that the afterburn effect lasts for 48 hours, youre looking at around 300-400 calories burned after exercising!
- Exercise While Sitting
Extra calories burned: ~100
You can easily burn some extra calories by doing simple exercises while sitting. Here are some exercises that you can use:
Glute Squeeze: Simply squeeze your glutes and hold for 10 seconds while sitting or standing. Repeat 10-20 times.
Knee Raises: Sit on your chair with both feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Lift one knee up as far as it will go while pointing your toes. Lower your foot back to the ground and switch legs. Continue this for a minute while alternating legs.
Leg Raises: Start in the same position as in Knee Raises but this time you'll straighten your leg out while pointing your toe upwards. Alternate your legs and hold it at the straightened position in the air for 5 seconds before coming down. Repeat for 10 reps on each leg.
- Sit on an Exercise Ball
Extra calories burned: 60-80.
By simply sitting on an exercise ball instead of a regular chair, you can expect to burn 6% more calories than you would as if you were sitting on a normal desk chair! An average 160 pound individual will burns around 135 calories just by sitting on a normal desk chair but will burn around 8 more calories per hour just by sitting on an exercise ball. Apply this to a normal 8 hour work shift and you can burn 64 more calories just from this simple switch!
There you have it! Incorporate these 5 little points and youll burn up to a whopping 1000 extra calories per day! Keep in mind that a regular exercise routine and proper diet is essential to achieving your fitness goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Jeremy Ethier is a NASM certified trainer and Kinesiology student. He’s played sports all his life and always had a passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. When he began University he was shocked by the lifestyle most students were living. They relied on junk food at school, barely ever exercised and developed a hunched posture from all the lectures and studying. He started Student's Fitness to show students, and all busy individuals, how they can stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle despite their busy schedules!